Follow us on Twitter
twitter icon@FreshPatents

Browse patents:
Next
Prev

Remote grip optical fiber connector




Title: Remote grip optical fiber connector.
Abstract: An optical fiber connector comprises an outer housing configured to mate with a receptacle and a collar body disposed in the outer housing. The collar body receives and secures a ferrule in a first portion of the collar body. The ferrule includes a central bore that defines an axis. The ferrule further includes a fiber stub disposed in a portion of the central bore, the fiber stub comprising a first optical fiber having a first end proximate to an end face of the ferrule and a prepared second end terminating within the ferrule. The collar body further includes a second portion that includes a housing portion to house a gripping device that grips a second optical fiber. ...


USPTO Applicaton #: #20100098381
Inventors: Donald K. Larson, Sidney J. Berglund, Paul N. Winberg, James R. Bylander, Takaya Yamauchi, Tomoyasu Oike, Yukino Miyoshi


The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20100098381, Remote grip optical fiber connector.

BACKGROUND

- Top of Page


1. Field of the Invention

The present invention is directed to an optical connector.

2. Related Art

Mechanical optical fiber connectors for the telecommunications industry are known. For example, LC, ST, FC, and SC optical connectors are widely used.

However, commercially available optical connectors are not well suited for outside plant field installations. Typically, an adhesive is required to mount these types of ferrule-based connectors on to an optical fiber. The process of bonding the fiber to the ferrule can be awkward and time consuming to perform in the field. Also post-assembly polishing requires that the craftsman have a higher degree of skill.

Remote grip optical fiber connectors are also known, such as those described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,337,390. These connectors employ a mechanical gripping element to secure the optical fiber as opposed to an adhesive.

Also known are hybrid optical splice connectors, as described in JP Patent No. 3445479, JP Application No. 2004-210251 (WO 2006/019516) and JP Application No. 2004-210357 (WO 2006/019515). However, these hybrid splice connectors are not compatible with standard connector formats and require significant piecewise assembly of the connector in the field. The handling and orientation of multiple small pieces of the connector can result in incorrect connector assembly that may either result in decreased performance or increase the chance of damaging the fiber.

Also known are connectors that incorporate fiber stubs that are factory installed. In these connectors, the back end of the stub fiber is mechanically spliced to a field fiber, where an index matching gel is used to fill the gap between the back end of the fiber stub and the front end of the terminated fiber. For example, see U.S. Pat. No. 5,909,528. For outdoor applications, especially for environments that can undergo a wide temperature variation, the index of refraction of the gel may change as a function of temperature, leading to more reflections, thus limiting the connector performance in those particular applications.

Another alternative includes the use of a fusion splice to connect a field fiber to a fiber stub. For example, see JP Application No. 2004-317945. A fusion splice requires the use of expensive fusion splice machines.

SUMMARY

- Top of Page


OF THE INVENTION

According to a first aspect of the present invention, an optical fiber connector comprises an outer housing and a collar body disposed in the outer housing. The collar body receives and secures a ferrule in a first portion of the collar body. The ferrule includes a central bore that defines an axis. The ferrule further includes a fiber stub disposed in a portion of the central bore, the fiber stub comprising a first optical fiber having a first end proximate to an end face of the ferrule and a prepared second end terminating within the ferrule. The collar body further includes a second portion that includes a housing portion to house a gripping device that grips a second optical fiber.

In another aspect, the gripping device provides a contact force that is applied to the second optical fiber in an axial direction and provides optical contact with the second end of the first fiber inside the central bore.

In another aspect, the gripping device includes a gripping element and an actuating cap configured to engage the gripping element to secure a second optical fiber disposed therein. In one aspect, the gripping element comprises a ductile material having a focus hinge that couples two element legs, where the actuating cap includes a cam portion formed on a cap leg that engages a rear portion of collar body upon actuation, where each of the legs further includes slots formed at different axial positions and oriented transverse to the axis. In another aspect, the gripping element further includes one or more projections located on opposite longitudinal end portions of the legs, wherein, upon actuation of the actuating cap, a first projection contacts a rear portion of the ferrule and a second projection contacts a portion of the actuating cap. In one aspect, the contact force is from about 0.1 lbs. to about 0.4 lbs.

In another aspect, the actuating cap includes a cover portion and a main body portion that includes two main legs and two spring legs, wherein the main legs include cams disposed on inner surfaces thereof to engage and clamp the element about the second optical fiber when the cap is pressed onto the element during actuation. In one aspect, the main legs each include a forward shoulder portion to engage with a retaining wall portion of the collar body disposed between the gripping element and the ferrule. During actuation, the spring legs engage with a cam surface of an opposite portion of the collar body.

In another aspect, the ferrule includes a cut-out portion positioned at a generally midpoint axial location of the ferrule that provides a location to apply an adhesive to the central bore at a first portion of the ferrule.

In another aspect, the ferrule includes a slot formed generally transverse to the axis that receives at least one of a cleaning material and a polishing material that is applicable at least one of to the second end of the first fiber and an abutting end of the second fiber. In one aspect, the slot is oriented at an angle of about 5°-about 10° from normal to the axis.

In another aspect, the ferrule includes a through-hole intersecting and formed generally transverse to the central bore that receives at least one of a cleaning material and a polishing material that is applicable to at least one of the second end of the first fiber and an abutting end of the second fiber. In another aspect, the optical fiber connector further comprises a cable holding member that includes a cable clamping mechanism disposable therein. In one aspect, the cable holding member further includes a main body and a retention clip, where the retention clip is configured to engage a portion of the main body of the cable holding member and secure the clamping mechanism, and where the clamping mechanism includes a receptive groove formed therein having engaging projections configured to securely retain the outer portion of a fiber cable that houses the second optical fiber.

In another aspect, the connector is configured as one of a plug-type connector and a socket-type connector. In one aspect, the outer housing is configured to mate with a receptacle.

According to another aspect of the present invention, an optical fiber connector comprises an outer housing and a collar body disposed in the outer housing. The collar body includes a flexible wall portion, where the collar body receives and secures a ferrule in a first portion of the collar body, where the ferrule includes a central bore that defines an axis. The ferrule further includes a fiber stub disposed in a portion of the central bore, the fiber stub comprising a first optical fiber having a first end proximate to an end face of the ferrule and a prepared second end terminating within the ferrule. The collar body further includes a second portion that includes a housing portion to house a gripping device that grips a second optical fiber, where the first and second fibers are optically coupled upon connection of the optical fiber connector to one of a connector coupling, a connector adapter and a connector socket.

In another aspect, the flexible wall portion of the collar body comprises bowed outer side walls. In another aspect, the flexible wall portion of the collar body comprises a resilient material forming a portion of the side walls.

The above summary of the present invention is not intended to describe each illustrated embodiment or every implementation of the present invention. The figures and the detailed description that follows more particularly exemplify these embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

- Top of Page


The present invention will be further described with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of an exemplary optical connector according to an aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an isometric cut-out view of the exemplary optical connector of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an isometric cut-out close-up view of several components of the exemplary optical connector of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is an isometric close-up view of a gripping element according to an aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a side view of the gripping element of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a side view of several components of the exemplary optical connector of FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a close-up side view of the gripping element of an aspect of the present invention prior to actuation.

FIG. 8 is a close-up side view of the gripping element of an aspect of the present invention after actuation.

FIG. 9 is a side view of another exemplary optical connector according to an alternative aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 10 is a side view of another exemplary optical connector according to an alternative aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 11 is an isometric view of several components of an optical connector according to an alternative aspect of the present invention.




← Previous       Next →
Advertise on FreshPatents.com - Rates & Info


You can also Monitor Keywords and Search for tracking patents relating to this Remote grip optical fiber connector patent application.

###

Keyword Monitor How KEYWORD MONITOR works... a FREE service from FreshPatents
1. Sign up (takes 30 seconds). 2. Fill in the keywords to be monitored.
3. Each week you receive an email with patent applications related to your keywords.  
Start now! - Receive info on patent apps like Remote grip optical fiber connector or other areas of interest.
###


Previous Patent Application:
Releasably locking auto-aligning fiber optic connector
Next Patent Application:
Optical module and cable unit provided with optical module
Industry Class:
Optical waveguides
Thank you for viewing the Remote grip optical fiber connector patent info.
- - -

Results in 0.08212 seconds


Other interesting Freshpatents.com categories:
Software:  Finance AI Databases Development Document Navigation Error

###

Data source: patent applications published in the public domain by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Information published here is for research/educational purposes only. FreshPatents is not affiliated with the USPTO, assignee companies, inventors, law firms or other assignees. Patent applications, documents and images may contain trademarks of the respective companies/authors. FreshPatents is not responsible for the accuracy, validity or otherwise contents of these public document patent application filings. When possible a complete PDF is provided, however, in some cases the presented document/images is an abstract or sampling of the full patent application for display purposes. FreshPatents.com Terms/Support
-g2-0.181

66.232.115.224
Browse patents:
Next
Prev

stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20100098381 A1
Publish Date
04/22/2010
Document #
File Date
12/31/1969
USPTO Class
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
/
Drawings
0




Follow us on Twitter
twitter icon@FreshPatents



Optical Waveguides   With Disengagable Mechanical Connector   Structure Surrounding Optical Fiber-to-fiber Connection   Multi-part (e.g., Two Pieces Screwed Together Or Bayonet Latched)   With Additional Structure At Or Immediately Surrounding Each Optical Fiber End Face   Fiber End Held In Ferrule  

Browse patents:
Next
Prev
20100422|20100098381|remote grip optical fiber connector|An optical fiber connector comprises an outer housing configured to mate with a receptacle and a collar body disposed in the outer housing. The collar body receives and secures a ferrule in a first portion of the collar body. The ferrule includes a central bore that defines an axis. The |
';